Satan loomed behind the scenes; he is always ready to point
his finger and accuse God’s people. Offstage lurked those
ready to make their grand entrance in order to perform the
Devil’s evil plans and purposes. Jealousy and envy are often
his tools. Green with envy, the Chaldeans waited for this
opportunity and they pounced on it. Years before, the prayers
of Daniel and his friends had saved the Chaldeans. Now they
came forward, denouncing the Jews. Such was the ingratitude of
The Chaldeans brought three charges
against the three Jews who did not bow:
- They have not regarded you.
- They serve not your gods.
- They do not worship the golden image you
have set up.
All others bowed; the fact that three did not was very
conspicuous. (It can be assumed that any other Hebrews
present bowed). Three stood alone! What a testimony by
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! Their courageous act is
one of the great examples in Scripture: they trusted and
obeyed God rather than man. They did not cave in to
peer-pressure. Talk about boldness. Moses’ instruction to
Israel might have been echoing in their minds.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he
will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
What a contrast these Jews are to the apostle
Peter, when he denied Christ Jesus three times in the
dark. Moreover, Peter was not required to be there (John
The Chaldeans were swift to
point out that the king had set Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego over the affairs of Babylon. This charge was
added to infuriate the king. They were successful; they
“pushed his button.”
THE COERCION (3:13-15)
Furious with rage—the king was intensely angry at
being defied and embarrassed in this way. He may have put
forth a great effort to keep such rebellion from
occurring. The king, older and wiser than when he ordered
the execution of all the wise men of Babylon, summoned the
three men, questioned them and offered them another
opportunity to bow or burn.
Nebuchadnezzar put God to the test. There is little
difference between this test on the plain of Dura, and the
test of Elijah and his God versus the false prophets of
Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-40). Defiant words
spilled out of the king’s mouth, “Then what god will be
able to rescue you from my hand?”